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A Writer's Guide to Writing for Writers

By Azfarul Islam and Tareq Adnan

First, stop. Now, move your mouse to the left (it might be to the right if you're using a Mac - which we incidentally are) and find the button called FILE. Then, your next move, and you have to choose to accept it, is to hit CLOSE. And do not, under any circumstances, choose to SAVE.

Right. Now that you have aborted that attempt which you were proud enough to think constitutes writing, well, kudos to you.

So, where to begin?

It all started when... or once upon a time... or long, long ago in a distant country not far from here, in fact, it may just as well be here (we're not being picky), two writers after having battle sore thumbs and many a block and after severe depression (which was cured the second they began this) at the general lack of writers in this distant, as-of-yet-unnamed country decided that it was time that they passed on their wisdom and whining to the masses and hoped that someday they would throw up a hero (or heroine) but sadly they realised how badly written this sentence is. Damn. Basically, we're here to impart our infinite (or as much as the word limit permits) wisdom and hope that someone or something as yet undiscovered - see we're really depressed - will rise to this challenge.

Now you know what we're about. What you're about is what we're trying to tell you.

You are a writer.
Savour those words. Let your spittle caress each syllable and molar as these letters form within your mouth. Yes, you have to read this aloud and with due pride.

Now, for the actual advice and yes, we have plenty. Sort of.

As difficult as it may be, regardless of what you've been taught all your life and even if it goes against your very nature, soul, religion and big toe, you must at all costs think. Yes, we really encourage you to allow that single (and if you're lucky, two) grey cell(s) to actually, against all odds, fulfil its original purpose. What is its purpose? Well, if you've been following us... it's to think. Shocking, isn't it?

After you've begun to break a sweat and possibly, new ground, with that bit of grey, we implore that you take a pen (your grandparents might still have one and will be more than willing to teach you the Ways of the Alphabets - yes we mean the original twenty-six and not everything you can touch on a keyboard, which happens to include +4!5§^¨ÿ߃^ÿ^ßÿ¨????). You are not a mathematician. You are not a chemist. And for goodness sake, you're definitely not an artist. Maybe. You, are, a, writer, right?

Once you've mastered the Pen, you will discover that the Pen is compatible with Paper even thought there aren't any visible slots. You just rub the pointy end gently against the flat expanse of the Paper. With this hitherto unrealised knowledge now realised, you can write down the few thoughts, if any, you've come up with. If it includes cheese, we think you need a snack. Please refer to the Maternal Parental Unit (or Mother) for more advice because this is out of our grasp.

There, you've written something down and no, your job isn't done yet. Writing necessarily means writing sentences. Now, you have to compute the ideas into coherency (Check “Dictionary” for meaning of coherency - extra points if you don't hit Shift+F7).

Lions have prides. Geese have gaggles. Fish have schools. Yes, they do. Watch Finding Nemo for more information regarding fish, schools and serendipity. And Sharks. Like all the above and more, sentences usually graze in groups of paragraphs. Unlike cows, paragraphs condense sentences into a single stream of thought. Cows condense food in a single stream of poo. In many cases with some writers, the difference is irrelevant.

This is a rogue sentence and they bite and you shouldn't use them unless you're that good - which you clearly aren't.

Have you ever mixed eggs, milk and flour? Probably not because you're not a baker, but a writer, darn it. However, a baker will tell you that all these ingredients make the bread you eat in the morning. So what happens when you mix thoughts, sentences and paragraphs? Well, very rarely, you get the ARTICLE which you read while you eat the aforementioned, also in the morning. However, you can always read in the toilet; the bread, not so much.

This article is a further condensation of different streams of thoughts, which is coming to the elusive CONCLUSION (Check definition of Conclusion, alternatively don't watch any films by M Night Shymalan).

The purpose of this article was this. This is known as a conclusion. It's not a very good one but for our purposes (we have taught a lot and try not to use the same word too many times in one paragraph. 'A' is not that word. Purposes is. Or are depending on how bad your grammar is).

What have we learnt today? Not a lot, but the writers of this written guide to writing (including thoughts, sentences, paragraphs and ultimately this conclusion) feel that you may have begun a beautiful journey towards something... beautiful. We hope that won't be your conclusion and you'll journey further and discover the NOVEL. Alas, that is for another time.

Until then know this: just because you turn thoughts into sentences which flock towards paragraphs which eventually run off a cliff into their conclusion, does not in any way mean that you can write. But remember: you. are. a. writer. Sort of.

 

 
 

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